British department store group Marks & Spencer has set its sights on conquering the Scandinavian market, as the group continues with its scheme to become the world's leading international retailer.
M&S announced its return to Finland, after a ten year absence earlier this year and now the group has revealed plans to make its debut entry into Norway as well. The department store chain aims to open 15 franchises stores in total across the two countries and is set to launch a Finnish local e-commerce platform in 2016, according to Retail Week.
“Expanding our reach to Scandinavia, which we see as an important international market for us, is a central part of our ongoing international growth strategy in Europe and we are delighted to be opening our first stores in the region over the next few months,” commented Francois Smeyers, regional director of Europe at M&S.
The group will open eight stores in Norway and seven in Finland, partnering with Pocos Group and S Group respectively. The impending store openings include M&S's first flagship store in Helsinki, which is set to open its doors next month on October 9, and its first in Oslo, slated to open late November.
M&S aims to have 60 percent of its overseas stores run by franchise partners, as the group currently operates 160 across Europe but aims to boost than number to 250 by 2016.